Rice Owls Club Baseball

Rice Swept by Texas A&M Corps Cadets
April 18, 2016, 5:32 pm
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Rice faced the Texas A&M Corps Cadets in Houston this past weekend in a three game series. The Owls needed to sweep to guarantee an appearance in the club baseball playoffs.

Chris Thomas (’18 Wiess) started the Saturday game. He pitched 5 strong innings, with Daniel Weinberg (’19 Wiess) closing the final two innings. The Owls scored 6 runs in a gritty fashion with well-timed and well-placed hits from many members of the team. However, A&M took advantage of some lucky hits and errors to take the lead. Unfortunately the Owls comeback effort was not enough, and despite Weinberg’s massive rally cap and the tying run on second, A&M took the 8-6 victory. Devastated at the loss, many team members enjoyed the on-campus toga party a bit too much.

For the Sunday doubleheader, Daniel Russell (’19 Will Rice) started the first game. After a rough first inning, Russell settled in a pitched 6.1 strong innings. Perry Goldstein (’18 Wiess) relieved for the final .2 innings to keep the Owls within striking distance. After a hard-fought 6 and a half innings which included an extremely hard hit double by Craig Broadman (’19 McMurtry), the Owls were down 10-7 going into the final half-inning. In this time of desperation, the rally turtle was born by Daniel Russell. After rituals and prayers to the rally turtle, the Owls scored two runs and loaded the bases. Perry Goldstein then hit a frozen rope to second that was smothered by A&M to lose the game. The rally gods had spoken. Rice lost 10-9.

Travis Guzzardo (’16 Sid Richardson) started the final game, going 1.2 innings. Sam Zapp (’18 McMurtry) relieved him, going into the 6th inning, with Daniel Weinberg once again closing the game out. As usual, the Owls kept the game within reach. The Owls nearly rallied for the lead about midway through the game with back-to-back Kenan Davis (’18 Lovett) and Chris Thomas singles followed by a Sanjiv Gopalkrishnan (’17 McMurtry) ground rule double. Unfortunately, convoluted substitution rules nullified this Rice effort. The Owls didn’t back down, with many threatening swings, including an impressive chip shot by Alex “Gibbers” Gardner (’18 Lovett) and threatening leadoffs by Peter Suzuki (’19 Martel) that led to about 10 pickoffs in one inning. The final half-inning once again saw Rice within striking distance. The Owls praised the rally turtle with more passion then they ever had before, yet still came up short. The Owls lost 8-6.

The weekend’s fungo golf course this weekend feature spacious fairways and small greens due to the nature of the baseball field. The first game of Saturday saw some new faces competing, with all of the top three players absent due to time constraints. Craig Broadman and Daniel Weinberg fought each other in a three hole playoff which ended on an amazing 2 shot hole for Daniel Weinberg to win. He is looking like a top fungo golf prospect for next year. The second game of the day saw Chris Thomas take victory with an extremely close final putt to win over Pax Kaplan-Sherman (’18 McMurtry). Going into the final day of the tour, Pax had locked first place and Chris had taken a one game lead over the field. Perry Goldstein dominated the first course of the day, winning by three strokes to tie for second place. The last fungo golf game of the year again saw Perry dominate the field. He ends the tour in second place, with Pax in first and Chris in third. Next year’s tournament will begin in McKinney, Texas at the #WoodWars tournament.

2015-2016 Fungo Golf Leaderboard

Pax- 10 wins- 1st Place

Perry- 3 wins- 2nd Place

Chris- 2 wins- 3rd Place

Kenan, Travis, David, Sanjiv, Daniel Weinberg- 1 win

Everybody else- 0 wins.

Travis Guzzardo is our only senior leaving this year. We will miss him dearly. Fortunately, we will have a lot of talent next year and will hopefully make playoffs. Thanks for the great year everyone!

With the losses, the Owls are now looking to sweep finals next week.

Noteworthy- The rain gods seem to be angry with Daniel Russell’s prayer dance for them in the final game, leading to unprecedented storms in Houston the following day……Daniel Weinberg was especially glad to be on the baseball field Sunday morning for [redacted] reasons….According to team co-president Daniel Suzuki (’18 Hanzsen), Daniel Russell caught a “bajillion” pop-ups at catcher due to the extremely large backstop of the field…..Chris Thomas almost lost the title of third slowest baseball player on the team after failing to run out an easy triple, but redeemed himself by actually getting a triple later in that same game…..Thank you to Mr. and Mrs. Thomas along with Mr. and Mrs. Gopalkrishnan to providing snacks and drinks to the team throughout the weekend!


Owls Sweep Lamar!
April 11, 2016, 4:59 pm
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The Owls traveled to luxurious Beaumont, TX this past weekend to face a much improved Lamar team at a prime baseball location next to a large chemical plant. After a brief game of fungo golf and a meeting with the umpires where they claimed Jacob Song’s (’19 Wiess) face was killing them, the team was ready to play some baseball. The Lamar pitcher claimed he blew out his elbow the week before and lobbed the ball into the zone, of which the Owls hitters took great advantage. The Owls crushed the ball throughout the game, highlighted by a home run by Chris Thomas (’18 Wiess), who proceeded to strikeout 6 times in a row after this game, en route to score 14 runs. Thomas also started the first game, going five innings with one run to pick up the complete game win 14-1.

The next game was started by Will Bower (’18 Duncan) who pitched 2 innings and gave up 4 runs. The Rice hitters didn’t get discouraged and climbed back to a 4-4 tie, with Sam Zapp (’18 McMurtry) hitting a grand slam to pull ahead 8-4. Henry Lanear (’19 Hanszen) relieved 3 innings and Daniel Weinberg (’19 Wiess) pitched the tense final two to help preserve Rice’s lead. The game ended 9-8 for another Rice win.

The Saturday games were very quick, so the Rice team had an entire afternoon available for their leisure. The team decided to go to Sonic for drinks/snacks then visit the greatest amusement center in Beaumont; Colorado Canyon. Three separate games of putt-putt golf were played in games more dramatic than the recent masters. Club alumni and coach Jake Hernandez (’15 Sid Richardson) had the best score of the afternoon, shooting two over par on the “Durango” course, while Travis Guzzardo (’16 Sid Richardson) and Chris Thomas won their respective groups. Thomas fended off Perry Goldstein’s (’18 Wiess) late charge with a few lucky bounces off rocks and clutch putting, maintaining par on the final holes to win, unlike Jordan Spieth in his recent performance. The worst performance of the afternoon was Daniel Weinberg’s 26 over par performance.

After dinner at a local Mexican food chain, the team played the wondrous sport of hockey late into the night. After exerting themselves so hard that a few team members felt sick to their stomach, the team made a late night trip to Waffle House™ to refuel for Sunday’s game. There we had a wonderful waitress named “Cristina Salesperson” who treated us so well that we decided to change the name of the group chat for her. On the walk back to the hotel, a kind stranger lingering outside of the Waffle House™ wished upon us “a busload of bitches.” What a nice guy.

The Owls arrived fresh and rejuvenated for Sunday morning’s surprisingly windy game, just to realize they had misplaced a bag full of the team’s gear. Fortunately, a virtuous stranger with a big truck showed up midway through the game to drop off the bag with all of the approximately $800 dollars worth of equipment intact. Sam Zapp started the game and went 5 strong innings, giving up 6 runs. Once again, the Rice bats were extremely hot, scoring 14 runs again, highlighted by Sanjiv Gopalkrishnan’s (’17 McMurtry) home run and Travis “Notorious OBP” Guzzardo’s 1.000 OBP on the day. The Owls won 14-7 after a 2 inning relief appearance by Daniel Weinberg to complete the sweep.

The fungo golf games over the weekend were just as exciting as the rest of the weekend. The first game involved a close battle throughout multiple baseball fields between Chris Thomas and Pax Kaplan-Sherman (’18 McMurtry). Pax tied the game on the final shot of the regular course, forcing a one hole playoff, which he won due to his superior driving capabilities compared to Chris Thomas and his tiny bat. The second and final game of the weekend featured a longer course than normal with some interesting obstacles, including a playground with children playing on it. Chris Thomas maintained a one hole lead over Perry going into the final hole, which he maintained due to an impressive drive. This was his first fungo golf win after three playoff holes against Pax. It is now a 6-way race for second place.

2015-2016 Fungo Golf Leaderboard

Pax- 9 wins

Kenan, Perry, Travis, David, Sanjiv, Chris- 1 win

Everybody else- 0 wins.

The Owls are now looking to seep the Texas A&M Corps Cadets to make the playoffs.

Noteworthy- After this game, Rice has 6 home runs on the year, a club record (I don’t actually know that I am just assuming that’s true)……..Craig Broadman (’19 McMurtry) actually could hit again with his new glasses…….…The Lamar first baseman/coach, who we nicknamed “touchy” due to his physical affection to our team and game of footsie with Will, claimed that Chris Thomas looked like rapper Lil’ Dicky without the beard, which was very inaccurate in my opinion………We also gave many of the other Lamar players nicknames including “Underarmour rat”, “Bunter Pence”, “Red Robin”, “13 shades of gray”, and “Buckwheat”.……. Apparently a few of the Lamar players were redshirting for the varsity team, to which Chris Thomas called bullshit, just to hear an unfortunately sad story about the politics of changing coaches……..Cristina Salesperson did not seem to like Pax Kaplan-Sherman. She nearly threw a knife at him. ………Additionally, after some of us at the Waffle House™  sneered at the prospect of sugar-free syrup, we learned Cristina Salesperson’s husband had type 1 diabetes………Thanks to Mr. and Mrs. Bower for supporting us this weekend and providing some drinks! Also if you are reading this we have your Styrofoam cooler.

Owls Sweep UHD!
March 24, 2016, 9:54 pm
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Breaking News! The Owls swept a three game series against UHD two weekends ago. Daniel Russell (’19 Will Rice) started the first game of the weekend, going four scoreless innings and Travis Guzzardo (’16 Sid Richardson) closed with a scoreless final inning. The Owl bats were on fire, and scored enough to run rule UHD in the fifth, ending the game 18-0. Chris Thomas (’18 Wiess) started the second game of the day and went 5 scoreless. Once again, the Rice bats were hot, with Sanjiv Gopalkrishnan (’17 McMurtry) hitting the first Rice homerun of the season to help power the team to another run-rule victory of 10-0. In this game, an unusually old looking member of the UHD showed up to play first and almost got into a fight with Daniel Suzuki (’18 Hanzsen) after he stole second.

The Owls arrived to the park Sunday to play a final baseball game against UHD, but instead waited to watch brilliant baseball game between the Mets and Team Nicaragua. After the Mets won, many of the spectators of the previous game stayed to cheer on the Owls, who were sporting their brilliant “Yeah Sports” shirts. Daniel Weinberg (’19 Wiess) started the last game of the series on Sunday, going 5 strong and allowing 1 run. In a surprising turn of events, the Rice bats were extremely hot again, with home runs from Jacob Song (’19 Wiess) and Sanjiv Gopalkrishnan again. The Owls won 16-1.

With the victory, the Owls are now 6-3, looking to sweep Lamar on April 9-10.

Three games of fungo golf were played that weekend. The first game was an incredibly close matchup between Pax Kaplan-Sherman (’18 McMurtry) and mini-bat user Chris Thomas. In fact, it was so close that the playoff hole had to be postponed until after the first baseball game. Pax ended up winning the playoff and the second game. The last game of the weekend was played on a large course throughout the local park, filled with water and people hazards. The golfers faced difficult chip shots over fences and long tree laden fairways, but once again Pax won. He has pulled far ahead of everyone else on the leaderboard and secured first place for the season. It is now a fight for second place.

2015-2016 Fungo Golf Leaderboard

Pax- 9 wins

Kenan, Perry, Travis, David, Sanjiv- 1 win

Everybody else- 0 wins

Noteworthy- Sunday’s umpire seemed fascinated the Daniel Weinberg wasn’t Jewish despite his last name……….Additionally, he claimed that his wife looked like Isaac Goforth (’19 Will Rice)……The Owls had more home runs this series than the past four years combined…………Thanks to Daniel (’18 Hanszen) and Peter Suzuki’s (’19 Martel) uncle for the water!

Rice Takes All Three From TCU
February 21, 2016, 5:54 pm
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The Rice Owls hosted TCU this past weekend for a three game series. Chris Thomas (’18 Wiess) started the Saturday night game with a solid 4 inning, 2 run appearance. Daniel Weinberg (’19 Wiess) relieved for the rest of the game, giving up no runs in 3 innings. Rice was behind for much of the game, however, a clutch hit by Sanjiv Golpalkrishnan (’17 McMurtry) in the 5th inning scored two. In the 6th, Sam Zapp (’18 McMurtry) made a beautiful diving play in center to save two runs. The Owls won the game 3-2 for their first win of the season.

For the first game of the Sunday doubleheader, Will Bower (’18 Duncan) started, throwing 5 scoreless innings. Sam Zapp relieved the last two innings, giving up one run. Kenan Davis (’18 Lovett) knocked in 3 RBI’s and Jacob Song (’19 Wiess) threw a bullet from center to third to get the final out. Rice won 6-1.

After his relief appearance, Sam Zapp started the first 3 innings of the final game of the series. He had a solid appearance, giving up only 2 runs. Both Perry Goldstein (’18 Wiess) and Daniel Weinberg relieved 2 innings. David Almog (‘Year Unknown Martel) made a clutch backpedaling catch in the 6th to save a run, and despite a stressful final inning, the Owls won 6-5.

With the sweep, Rice now is 3-3 and looks to carry this momentum to their next series against UHD on March 12-13.

The Saturday afternoon fungo golf game was played on a traditional course with few hazards and long drives. Pax Kaplan-Sherman (’18 McMurtry) extended his lead on the year with a win, and David Almog also won in another game. Sunday’s game saw Travis Guzzardo (’16 Sid Richardson) taking a win using a mini-bat, and underdog Sanjiv Gopalkrishnan winning for his first time ever, beating the heavy favorite Pax by 2 strokes. This ended Pax’s months long streak of wins. However, he is still very far ahead on the leaderboard. Vegas odds put Pax at a 82.79% of winning the Club Baseball Tour.


2015-2016 Fungo Golf Leaderboard

Pax- 6 wins

Kenan, Perry, Travis, David, Sanjiv- 1 win

Everybody else- 0 wins

Noteworthy- Two previous club baseball players, Luis Jarma (’16 McMurtry) and Jacob “Hurricane” Gildan (’15 Lovett) made guest appearances in the dugout this weekend…….the opposing team attempted to poison our tacos Saturday night, however they mistakenly gave one of Kenan’s fans food poisoning instead.……Will Bower led a protest against club baseball leadership through the GroupMe, leading later game departure times…….The previous team in the dugout left some “Athletic Body Wipes’ for the Rice team. They saw Sanjiv and decided to leave them for his “athletic body”………Thanks to Daniel (’18 Hanszen) and Peter Suzuki’s (’19 Martel) uncle for the water!

LSC Sweeps Rice
February 17, 2016, 8:47 pm
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This past weekend, LSC Montgomery traveled to face Rice Club baseball for a weekend series in Houston. Chris Thomas (’18 Wiess) started the first game under the lights, going six strong innings while giving up six runs. Daniel Weinberg (’19 Wiess) closed the last inning. Despite getting many runners on base, the Rice bats never got hot and Rice ended up with an 8-2 loss. Will Bower (’18 Duncan) started the next game Sunday morning. In front of club baseball alumni and no-no thrower Oscar Turner (’15), Bower threw a complete game, giving up five runs. However, the bats couldn’t support the strong pitching performance. Rice lost 5-3. Sam Zapp (’18 McMurtry) started the final game of the series and pitched very well, going six strong, with Weinberg closing. Despite having two runners on in the bottom of the seventh, Rice couldn’t score enough runs, and ended up losing 2-1.

Each game was extremely close. Rice was only a few key mistakes and a little bit of good luck away from winning all three games. The rest of the season still looks promising for the owls!

Three games of fungo golf were played this past weekend. The first ended with Pax Kaplan-Sherman (’18 McMurtry) winning by one stroke over Chris Thomas. In the second game, in which Weinberg wielded the mini-bat and hit cars in honor of the absent Thomas, was extremely intense. Perry Goldstein (’18 Wiess) forced a two-hole playoff against Pax after choking on an easy putt on the final hole. Pax capitalized on Perry’s key mistake and won this game also. For the third game, despite new competition from coach Jake Hernandez (’15 Sid Richardson)  Pax still won easily. He went undefeated over the weekend, and pulls way ahead in this year’s Fungo Golf Leaderboard. Can anyone catch up?

The Owls face TCU next on the 20th for a weekend series at home.

2015-2016 Fungo Golf Leaderboard

Pax- 5 wins

Kenan, Perry- 1 win

Everybody else- 0 wins

Noteworthy- Apparently the Kolache factory thinks Will is a varsity baseball member. They must have mistaken him for Sanjiv…………Daniel Russell (’19 Will Rice) brought his full arsenal of distractions to the basepaths, nearly causing an LSC pitcher to be ejected….Rumors say LSC is consider rehiring their coach Perry, who was fascinated last year that the Rice team had a player of the same name……….Thanks to Daniel (’18 Hanszen) and Peter Suzuki’s (’19 Martel) uncle for the water!….

Rice takes 1 of 3 from Tulane
November 27, 2015, 11:21 am
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Rice club baseball traveled to New Orleans to face Tulane in a three game series this past weekend. After an eventful 6-hour drive, the team stepped right out of their cars onto the field. Chris Thomas (’18 Wiess) started the first game with Daniel Suzuki (’18 Hanszen) starting behind the plate. After retiring the first 9 batters in a row in quick innings, Thomas struggled through the next two innings, ending with a solid line of 5 innings pitched with 4 runs allowed. Peter Suzuki (’19 Martel) had a strong appearance at the plate with a 2 RBI double, and Daniel Weinberg (’19 Wiess) pitched well in the last two innings. Although he pitched a scoreless inning despite loading the bases, in the next inning Tulane walked off on an infield ground ball. Rice lost 5-4.

With the large amount of people there, two games of fungo golf were played during the break in between games. The course, an all turf field, played extremely fast. This led to most holes being par 3 at most. Pax Kaplan-Sherman (’18 McMurtry) and Perry Goldstein (’18 Wiess) both won their respective fungo golf games. Pax is leading the fungo golf tour this year and is currently undefeated.

Game two led to the pitching debut of Sam Zapp (’18 McMurtry). Despite a rough game partially due to low visibility for the outfielders, Zapp showed flashes of brilliance. He has a bright club future ahead of him.  Craig Broadman (’19 McMurtry) relieved, along with Travis Guzzardo (’16 Sid Richardson) making his pitching debut to close out the game. Pax, after entering the game for a mysteriously disappeared Chris Thomas, broke up a no hitter with a clutch single. The game ended with Tulane winning 13-0.

After a night exploring the city of New Orleans, the team woke up early for a final morning game on Sunday. Will Bower (’18 Duncan) started the game, going 4 solid innings with 4 runs allowed in front of his supporting friends and family. Kenan Davis (’18 Lovett) and Chris Thomas both had solid games at the plate, and Sanjiv Gopalkrishnan (’17 McMurtry) continued his torrid pace of reaching on errors. Daniel Weinberg closed the final three innings, allowing only one run. Despite a tense final inning consisting of a lot of sinkerballs thrown from third, the Owls pulled through to win 6-5.

Up next is for the Owls is a crucial soccer match against the women’s club soccer team on December 5th.

2015-2016 Fungo Golf Leaderboard                                                                               Pax- 2 wins                                                                                                                           Kenan, Perry- 1 win                                                                                                           Everybody else- 0 wins

Noteworthy- Series MVPs go to Mr. and Mrs. Bower for providing food and beverages both during and after games, thank you so much!………Sanjiv Gopalkrishnan is the luckiest baseball player of all time. He batted 0-10, but reached base on 7 errors……….Kenan seems to have overcome his bout of Vasovagal Syncope………………Chris Thomas is now boycotting Cane’s

2015 #WoodWars Tournament Write-Up
October 12, 2015, 6:44 pm
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This past weekend, the Owls traveled to World Famous McKinney, TX for the annual #WoodWars tournament. Each year, around 20 of the world’s best club baseball teams face off at this tournament. Rice faced LoneStar College, Ole Miss, and Texas Tech in pool play. Unfortunately, much of the team had obligations to ACL, whose management wouldn’t reschedule despite how important #WoodWars is, leading to Rice fielding a team of only 10 players, two of which were injured.

Daniel Russell (’19 Will Rice) started the first game against Ole Miss, going four strong innings despite having a sprained ankle. However, the bats were quiet all game, with the only Owl’s run coming from a sacrifice fly by Peter Suzuki (’19 Martel). Kenan Davis (’18 Lovett) relieved the last two innings, with the Owls eventually losing 8-1. Highlights of the game include Josh Phipps’ (’18 Sid Richardson), Sanjiv Gopalkrishnan’s (’17 McMurtry) 2 hits, and an interesting story regarding the origin of the nickname “Hot fudge”. The bats remained quiet throughout the Swing-it Hitter’s challenge, with Chris Thomas’ (’18 Wiess) pitching performance stealing the show.

After a night of rest, the rejuvenated Owls took on eventual tournament champions Texas Tech. Unfortunately, starter Kenan Davis’s no-hitter was rudely broken up by Tech’s second batter. By the bottom of the second, the Owls were down 6-0, but what came next will go into club baseball lore forever. Russell began the inning with a well-placed bloop single, where he barely beat the throw from the left fielder. The Tech pitcher then walked Peter, allowing for Jared Broadman (’17 Lovett) to knock in an RBI double. With runners on second and third, Chris Thomas smashed a 2 RBI shot over the center fielder’s head, stretching it to a double despite not being able to run on his hurt foot. A sold out crowd of five were on their feet, bringing back memories of Kirk Gibson’s famous postseason home run. Isaac Goforth (’19 Will Rice) pinch ran for the injured Thomas, immediately stealing third, then home as Phipps struck out. Craig Broadman (’19 McMurtry) also scored in the inning following a Kenan Davis single and wild pitch.

This epic rally brought the Owls to within 1. Unfortunately, the Owls defense couldn’t hold the lead, despite Kenan’s solid three innings of work and relief appearances by Jared Broadman and Mr.President, Daniel Suzuki (’18 Hanzsen). The final score was 13-5. Fortunately, fungo golf and Chick-fil-a nuggets consoled the team after their loss. The golf course was a short one this week, as the other team was warming up for a baseball game. Kenan eventually won by a couple of strokes, backed by a magical hole-in-one.

Peter started the third game against LoneStar College D1, pitching 3 good innings. The team struggled at the plate again after expending so much energy on an epic near-comeback. Craig Broadman came in and provided 4 scoreless relief innings in a masterful appearance. In the final inning, the Owls almost mounted a comeback after Isaac’s single and Phipps’ 10 pitch walk, but LSC held on to win 8-1.

The Owls take on Tulane next on 11/21-11/22.

2015-2016 Fungo Golf Leaderboard

Pax- 1 win

Kenan- 1 win

Everbody else- 0 wins

Noteworthy- Many thanks to Mrs. Gopalkrishnan and Mrs. Davis for providing much needed food and beverages to the games…….This tournament marked the coaching debuts of club baseball legends Jake Hernandez and Jacob “Hurricane” Gildan……….This is the first time a Rice player has batted 1.000 in the #WoodWars tournament, although he may have only had one at-bat…….. Our self-proclaimed broken shoulder catcher threw two out this weekend, leading to speculation that his shoulder may not be broken…..Kenan Davis displayed his mastery of the L8 this weekend with seemingly every out coming that way……Daniel Suzuki may or may not be shunned from future social events due to his betraying choice of cars for the ride back….Despite a severely understaffed team, hockey was a smashing success